Runaway Bunny

This week, one of my favorite passages from REM’s The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight:
Baby, instant soup doesn’t really grab me today. Today I need something more substantial: a can of beans or black eyed peas, some Nescafe and ice, a candy bar, a falling star, or a reading from Dr. Seuss.
And this image, courtesy of my drive to my son’s school.

She was driving, but she didn't know where.  The bruise on her thigh was enough to make sure she would never go back, despite apologies and bouquets.  At least he was clever enough not to hit her where it would show.  She thought about the first time she saw him, all gussied up behind the smoke and haze of that dive bar.  He wore a perfect smile like a mask, though she didn't see him take it off until he moved up into her one bedroom apartment and under her skin.  Falling in love with him was as easy as listening to her favorite song, all she had to do was press play and repeat, and she was there.  Even now, driving away from him, she was still playing the tune.  

The sun was just starting to rise as she hung a right off the highway.  She wasn't sure she could pronounce the name of the town, but her eyelids were growing heavy, still puffed up with tears and in need of a rest.  She would sleep in the reclined seat of her two door whatever and dream of him back when they were new. She'd let him hit her three times before she was out, like a baseball game.

The first time she deserved, she told herself.  She was being a bitch, there was no doubt in that.  So when he brought his fist into her rib cage it was almost a relief.  She coughed up blood as he wept apologies into her hair and she forgave him with every ounce of her.  People make mistakes, she said.  I love you.  The second time was more of a shock than the first.  He got her in the back that time, a coward's fight.  She had dropped his favorite mug while trying to wash it and he just lost control.  He didn't cry that time and neither did she.  She was too shocked to fight it.

She put the car in park and turned off the engine.  It was a small town, and the only sound for miles was the beating of her heart and the occasional passing car.  She wasn't sure which was louder. Rolling down her window, she looked up.  There beneath the tree she saw a sky so blue she was certain it was painted on.

"I'll be okay," she told herself.  She closed her eyes, at peace once again.  "I'll be just fine."


  1. Such a sad story, and sadly so true. It makes you hope that it all works out for her. LM x

  2. Ouch. Powerful descriptions & all too real insight.

    "she didn't see him take it off until he moved up into her one bedroom apartment and under her skin" - this really worked.

  3. Tomekha McCarthyMay 9, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    Indeed, you will be fine.

  4. I like her spirit. Bowed, but not broken. Good work!

  5. I've been there, done that unfortunately. You captured the emotions well

  6. You make her so very human, and so brave, we really, really hope she will be just fine.